Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Poems and Piss

It was good to get an envelope through the post with a note from the editor of Obsessed With Pipework to say that they were planning to take five of my poems, to be published in the autumn edition. I took out a subscription to this after Ms Pants had some of her poems published by OWP and found myself reading it cover to cover, something I had not felt able to easily do with other, seemingly higher profile, magazines. This in itself was auspicious. I am also taking it as a good sign that the first step of my new year resolution to send work out to magazines has been given a thumbs up. I have also got a couple of new poems writ, and polished up a couple more that were languishing unattended, ragged at the edges or wanting a decent last line.

The bad news is that Cat of Signs has seen fit to piss on the carpet of what we now call the spare room. It’s the room downstairs that used to be the daughter’s bedroom, where we have a small piano and a sofa bed for when friends come to stay. C of S has generally been exhibiting what some people might call attention-seeking behaviour of late, caterwauling whenever I am wanting to attend to a piece of writing, dive-bombing from the top of the makeshift wardrobe onto the sleeping person of Mr. Signs at first bird light and generally howling at the moon in disconsolate fashion, and nagging me for milk, which she would like to have every day, but it is not good for her. I had a long conversation with a wonderful nurse at the vet’s. Cats happen to be her speciality. We need to take on board that she is, in cat terms, getting on a bit. The pissing and caterwauling may be down to a urinary infection but may also be a response to stress caused by a new gang of aggressive cats in the area. Worst case scenario is that she is developing a kind of dementia. I thought that I knew a fair bit about cats, having lived with one for nearly fourteen years but after talking to the nurse I realised - I know bollocks.

23 comments:

That's So Pants said...

Congratulations Signs. Good start to the year. We love OWP even more now if such a thing were possible.

xxx

Pants

Zhoen said...

Congrats on the poems.

Cat has a good vet. All sounds like good advice. A good enzymatic cleaner will help with the carpet. This is why I am in no way tempted to bring home any cats from the shelter, would really unsettle Moby, and it is his home.

trousers said...

Same from me too about the poems - good stuff.

As regards Cat of Signs, I've known one or two elderly cats to howl as though they're in distress, and then when you go to see what the hell is going on they look at you as if to say (eg) "just letting you know I was jumping up onto the bed, ok?"

word ver = hoball, which sounds like some strange variant of furball to me.

Nicola said...

Congratulations, Signs, that must feel good. Glad you are on a creative run.
Caterwauling strikes me as a great way to release stress - I may try it next full moon.

Reading the Signs said...

Pants, and it was you who encouraged me to send, so thanks. I am of course renewing my OWP subscription.

Thanks Zhoen. I can quite see why you wouldn't be able to bring home other cats. C of S would go completely mental.

Trousers, hoball did sound just a little bit rude at first glance (you do seem to get the rude ones, I've noticed), but in the context - yes, hairball (furball) is probably it - which C of S likes to deposit on beds, preferably ones with freshly-washed sheets. And ta.

Nicola, do try it and let me know how it goes. Neither C of S nor I find it necessary to wait until the moon is full. Any time of the month can find us howling, and the moon seems to accept whatever we throw at her. She's good like that.

Kahless said...

C of S - have you had her checked for diabetes? Could be that?

Congrats too.

Kahless said...

Oh and at least C of S hasnt got diarrhea!!!

Reading the Signs said...

Kahless, we are going to get her checked for urinary infection, so I will ask about the diabetes too - ta. No runs, the lord be praised.

Kahless said...

I only ask cos that was our cats symptoms of her diabetes.

Anna MR said...

Sweet Signs, my congrats, too, and many mwahs. Does this magazine ship abroad? Must do, I'm supposing, if Ms Pants has it in the Upside-Down Lands. I should mayhap think of subscribing.

And do give poor CoSigns my warmest greetings, please. Vets are (usually) brilliant, aren't they? Way better bedside manners than most peopley doctors. The vet who operated on Ms Dogot had me wishing I could show and tell her all my various niggles, so she could heal me. I told her as much (but happily managed to keep the various niggles under my hat).

Reading the Signs said...

Anna, I don't know if Pants still gets OWP, she still lived here when the poems were published. But one probably can subscribe from wherever, because they also publish poets who don't live in the UK.

Yes, the local vets are nicer than the people doctors. When CofS went to have some teeth out I was thinking of asking them to take me two on a buy-one-get-one-free basis. But they didn't have a cage big enough.

Anna MR said...

Ha. Funnily enough, when I told Ms Dogot's vet of my deep feeling of trust and look-after-me-too-please, she told me about how she herself had to have an operation recently and was dead nervous about it. The doctor had been all kind of doctorly-distant and dry and Godlike and had explained the procedure and then said, "have you any questions?", so she'd said "would you do my teeth and claws, too, please, while I'm out cold?"

I think human medicine could really take an appreciative look at veterinary surgeons.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Ooh! Congratulations, Signs! That's wonderful news!

Collin Kelley said...

Congrats on the poems being accepted! Sorry to hear about the kitty. They do need lots of attention, but maybe because she is getting older, she's decided to say "what the hell" and let her inner demon kitty out. :)

Reading the Signs said...

Thanks Vanilla and Collin,

yes, I think this is a cat's way of getting older and "wearing purple". But she still behaves like a baby.

Montag said...

I almost did not read the post. It sounded like you were taking all poets to task.

I mean, the title seems like a nasty condemnation if it were a metaphor parallelling poet and piss.

On the other hand, if it were a kindly metaphor, singing the praises of both objects, it very possibly might not agree with all readers' tastes.

I read it.
Congratulations.

Montag said...

...I mean congratulations on the first part, the poem part of the contrasting pair.

...and a general feeling of compassionate solicitude on the second part.

Reading the Signs said...

Montag, I was almost going to say that you should know me better than that, but then realised that there is no reason why you should. Two ways of looking at it, though: 1) it's just a lazy title pointing to two things that happened to be topmost in my consciousness at that particular moment 2) life is all, at some level, all about poetry and piss and the two have to coexist or the poetry, at any rate, will be in trouble. I suppose the piss will just keep coming, whatever.

Yes, it might well put some readers off, and I have it on good authority that my profile already does that. But, you know.

Thanks for the congrats.

Anna MR said...

Something just occurred to me, whilst rereading this post (and to me, it ties in with what you say about life, poetry and piss, to Montag there (hello, Montag), as well as something else, too, as you well know, Signs). A few years ago, two of my (Irish) friends used to run a poetry cafe of sorts, over here - although it was at a pub (them being Irish). They called their thing "Poems and Pints". To their total delight, I rechristened the thing "Beer and Bollocks".

Reading the Signs said...

Oh, I like that, Ms Mr, and my guess is that you know what bit of it I like the most - yes, you got it right first time, it's the "Beer and Bollocks"!

Gael said...

Great news! (the poems not the piss)

Reading the Signs said...

Thank you, Gael. I think we have come to some kind of compromise with the piss situation - C of S is really enjoying the new clay litter (but cannot be arsed to go outside anymore!)

Montag said...

Hi, Anna.
It dawned on me that your photo reminds me of something Fellini. I am going to say Giulietta degli Spiriti; sort of metaphysical mixed with real.

I am going to learn some Finnish words for parts of the body to add to your names for pubs.